Once again, Electronic Arts sets out to try and sell the famous board game known as none other than Monopoly to you, your friends and to your family, just in time for the holiday season. The real question, however, is simple: Is the Wii Monopoly Collection enough to make you and your friends join you around a television set when it is possible to take the game and play it whenever and wherever you want at your leisure? The Collection includes both original Monopoly titles — Monopoly and Monopoly Streets — and they do present themselves well while staying true to the classic board game everyone knows and loves.
Mr. Monopoly — or Rich Uncle Pennybags, whichever you prefer — takes you on a tour through the game with an attitude that starts out very charming. However, the longer you play, the more you realize how repetitive he is, and the charm quickly turns into an irritating scratch in your head that will tell you to mute the television to avoid any further interaction with the old man. This is not exclusive to Mr. Monopoly; each of the characters in Monopoly Streets has a unique persona, such as a crazy racer car driver who has obviously been injured a few times, and they can drive you up the wall too. Whatever happened to the shoe and iron game pieces?
Just like regular Monopoly, it is vital to negotiate, and successfully doing so is the primary difference between the inmate in the corner jail and being a Rich Uncle Pennybags yourself — just relying on which side the dice roll is not going to cut it.
The controls for the game are pretty simple, so accessibility is not an issue. You must hold the Wii remote sideways. The 1 and 2 buttons function as command buttons, and the complexity of the controls do not extend beyond this.
In an effort to keep the two Monopoly titles with this collection, Electronic Arts included additional modes that include variations to the original game rules. On top of that, there are some mini-games included, though they are forgettable and make even most of the Mario Party lineup seem like “must have” additions. Perhaps the most interesting addition of the bunch is Richest Mode, which still uses the same mechanic as the mini-games but rewards you with the property you landed on.
Though the Monopoly Collection is indeed a competent rendition of the board game, the single player mode is ultimately the greatest failure as it is too slow-paced to be enjoyable, and by the time you rope other people into playing with you, you might as well take it outside — and bring the board game with you.